Tattoo removal costs
Tattoo removal costs are typically charged on a per-session basis, with as many as ten sessions needed for complete removal of a tattoo. Depending on the exact method used to treat the tattoo, a session may range anywhere from $200 to $500. Many doctors offer discounts when several sessions are paid for upfront.
Am I a candidate for tattoo removal?
Most patients with unwanted tattoos can undergo tattoo removal. All tattoos can be removed over time, including professional and homemade tattoos of every size and color. Typically, black ink is easiest to remove. Warm colors such as red and orange also respond well to laser treatments. Ideal patients are in good overall health. Those who have a history of poor scarring, immune system deficiencies of have taken Accutane acne medication within the past six months may not be good candidates for tattoo removal.
What is tattoo removal?
Today, lasers are the most common method for tattoo removal. During laser tattoo removal, short pulses of laser energy are directed at the surface of the skin, where the tattoo pigments are heated up and broken down into smaller pieces that can be removed by the body's natural processes.
There are two other methods in use today, generally when laser procedures are not an option. Excision is most often used when the tattoo is small. The advantage is that the entire tattoo can be removed at once, although this procedure also involves significant damage to the tissue. Once a local anesthetic is administered, the tattoo is surgically removed by being cut from the skin. The surrounding skin is then sutured over the removed area. Previously, dermabrasion was often used to "sand" the tattoo off the surface of the skin. However, this method has mostly been replaced by laser tattoo removal.
Tattoo removal steps
Laser treatments usually require 5 to 10 treatments spaced at least 4 weeks apart. Some homemade tattoos can be completely removed in just a couple of sessions. The number of treatments depends on the type and color of ink, depth of ink placement, and age of tattoo. Due to the variations from case to case, it can be difficult to predict the degree of removal of any tattoo.
Tattoo Removal Recovery and Healing Steps
Following tattoo removal using any of the above procedures, the area will be covered in an ointment and bandages. The skin usually takes about a week to heal; the recovery period is longest with the excision method. During this time the treated area should not be exposed to sunlight.
Tattoo Removal Side Effects and Procedure Risks
Following tattoo removal sessions, the treated area will be red and swollen. The chance of scarring following tattoo removal is very low, as long as all aftercare instructions are followed. Rare complications include hypopigmentation, hyperpigmentation, or skin texture changes. Rarely, white or flesh-tone tattoos may become darker rather than lighter.